Subject: Maternal Depression Associated with Larger Amygdala in Children Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:34 pm
Larger amygdala but no change in hippocampal volume in 10-year-old children exposed to maternal depressive symptomatology since birth
Results of this study revealed no group difference in hippocampal volumes, but larger left and right amygdala volumes and increased levels of glucocorticoids in the children of mothers presenting depressive symptomatology since birth. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was observed between mothers' mean depressive scores and amygdala volumes in their children.
The results of this study suggest that amygdala volume in human children may represent an early marker of biological sensitivity to quality of maternal care.
Similar study published in Developmental Sciences in 2010 revealed that Prolonged institutional rearing is associated with atypically larger amygdala volume and difficulties in emotion regulation. Orphanage rearing, even in the best circumstances, lies outside of the bounds of a species-typical caregiving environment.